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SCMP-Students in biggest anti-junta

South China Morning Post
Thursday  September 3  1998

Students in biggest anti-junta protest for years 

WILLIAM BARNES and Agencies in Rangoon 
Burmese students yesterday staged their biggest protest in years against
the country's junta.

About 700 students began a sit-in at the Rangoon Institute of Technology
campus at 9.30am, shouting for the junta's downfall and the postponement of
exams. A diplomat said witnesses heard the students shouting pro-democracy
slogans, including: "We don't want a military government. We're not afraid
of you."

Another 3,000 students rallied at the Hlaing campus, where many of the
institution's students live. About 500 riot police surrounded the two

A university official said school authorities asked the students to leave
the campus and began sending them back to their hostels.

Universities throughout the country have been closed since protests in
1996, but reopened recently.

Last week, students at the institute and from Rangoon University staged the
first open street protests against the Government in nearly two years.

A source in Thailand said last night there were strong rumours the leader
of 1988 student protests, Min Ko Naing, had died in prison.

He has been in solitary confinement for 10 years.

If the students had heard that he had died, it would have sparked outrage
and could explain the length of yesterday's protests.